( according to the Church Calendar)
1. SAINT EUTYCHIUS, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE
Euthychius was born in Phrygia of pious and devout parents. His father was an officer. Once, as a child, when Eutychius was playing with his playmates, their game was that each of them would write their names on a wall and, beside their name, they would guess what rank each of them would attain in life. When it was Eutychius' turn he wrote: Eutychius --Patriarch! In his thirtieth year he became abbot of the monastery in Amasea. At age forty, he was sent by the Metropolitan of Amasea to represent him at the Fifth Ecumenical Council [Constantinople, 553 A.D.]. At the Council, he glowed like a shining star among the Fathers of the Church both in learning as well as in his zealousness. When the debate began whether heretics could be anathematized after their deaths, he supported the opinion that they could be by calling upon the Third Book of Kings (in some translations, called The First Book of Kings 13: 1-8) and the Fourth Book of King's (in some translations, called The Second Book of Kings 23:16). Eutychius endeared himself greatly to Emperor Justinian and Patriarch Mennas. The emperor sought his advice on many occasions and Patriarch Mennas designated Eutychius as his successor and implored the emperor to carry this out in deed. And so it happened! St. Eutychius governed the Church in peace for twelve years. Then the devil raised up a tempest against him. This tempest reached Justinian himself. The emperor became deluded and succumbed to the Monophysite heresy (Aphtartodocetea) which falsely taught that the Lord Jesus, before His resurrection, had a divine and incorruptible body, without feeling, hunger, thirst or pain. Eutychius adamantly stood up against this heresy, for which the emperor banished him into exile to his original monastery. Eutychius remained there for twelve years and eight months and proved himself to be a great miracle-worker healing people of various illnesses through prayer and by anointing them with holy oil. Justinian repented and died. He was succeeded by Justin, who then restored Eutychius to the patriarchal throne where this saint remained, governing the Church of God in peace, until his death. In 582 A.D., in his seventieth year, he took up habitation in the kingdom of Christ the Lord, Whom he faithfully and courageously served throughout his entire life.
2. THE HOLY ONE-HUNDRED TWENTY MARTYRS, WHO SUFFERED IN PERSIA
When the Persian Emperor Sapor plundered the lands of Byzantium, heenslaved one-hundred twenty Christians. Since his attempts to persuade them to deny Christ and worship fire proved to be in vain, the emperor tossed them into the fire and burned them alive. Among those martyrs, were nine virgins dedicated to God. They all suffered honorably between the years 344 A.D. and 347 A.D. and took up habitation in the mansions of Christ the King.
HYMN OF PRAISE
Euthychius witnessed Christ to the Emperor:
Christ, said he, a weakened body He had,
A body susceptible to hunger and pain,
Similar to, but not the same with the body on the Throne.
A ray of the servant on earth, the King of Glory carried
But the glorified body, into heaven He ascended.
Where would the tears be in the illusionary body?
Where the bloody sweat O Emperor, on the illusionary brow?
"I am hungry!" "I am thirsty!" spoke the Truth [Christ],
Why do you drive the Son of God into a lie?
When His hunger He witnesses to the world
And you to Him: you are satiated! You speak to His face!
When thirsty, He cries out while on the Cross hangs,
And, to Him you respond: Thirsty You are not, You are not!
O Great Emperor, impurity do not speak,
Behind your words, the demon himself hides.
In vain do you build churches, when you destroy the Faith,
And in vain the votive offerings, when its flames you extinguish.
Christ's sufferings, of all other sufferings are greater,
The whole of history, revolves around the Cross.
For that, the Cross is honorable, capable of healing and awesome,
Because [the Cross of Christ] it is the source of pain -
It is brimming over and abundant.
On the Cross is Christ; man nailed,
Blood, sweat and moaning - and not a dream that is dreamed.
It is said about an ancient orator that he labored day and night to perfect himself in the art of oratory. Someone said to him: "Demosthenes does not want you to be the chief orator." To which he immediately retorted: "Neither will I allow him to be the only one." If you cannot be a first-class saint like St. Anthony, do not lower your hands and do not say: " Nothing can come of me!" Increase your effort and double your talent. "In my Father's house, there are many dwelling places" said the Lord (St. John 14:2). If you merit to settle in the least of these dwelling places, you will be more glorious and more fortunate than all of the rulers who have ever existed on earth. Everyone, according to his own talent. Neither will you be a St. Anthony nor will St. Anthony, alone, occupy the Kingdom of God.
To contemplate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus:
1. How the stone on the tomb did not split, neither was the seal on it broken;
2. How the All-powerful and meek Lord did not damage the tomb during His resurrection, as the Virgin's womb was not damaged at the time of His birth.
About the victory over the last enemy
"The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26).
Man's first enemy is the devil, the second is sin and the third is death. The Lord Jesus conquered all three of these enemies of the human race. By His humility, He conquered the proud devil. By His death, He conquered sin and by His resurrection , He conquered death. In conquering all of our enemies, He invites us to be partakers in His glorious victory. Not only that we conquer but that we attach ourselves next to the Victor. Only His power conquers, only His weapons mow down. We are without power and weapons but our enemies are fearful. With Him and along side Him, we are conquering those mightier than ourselves. What is the price that He offers to us for His victory? A meager price, my brethren; for a very paltry price He offers us the most precious victory. To humble ourselves and to submit ourselves to the will of God, that is the price He seeks in order to conquer the devil for us. To die unto ourselves, to die to fleshly desires and passions, that is the price which He seeks in order to conquer for us. To live for Him and not for ourselves, to receive Him into our hearts, that is the price He seeks in order to conquer death for us. He conquered all enemies openly and completely. This is the price for which He offers His victory to each of us. The Apostle Paul speaks: "But thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
O resurrected Lord, enlighten, strengthen and heal us by Your victory.
We who are grateful, lift up to You glory and thanks always. Amen.